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Bridging the gap to access capital in the financial landscape


New capital access training focuses on various small business support networks.

The Initiative for a Competitive Inner City (ICIC) and Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC), united in their commitment to elevating diverse entrepreneurs as a means of achieving economic equity, have partnered to launch Bridging the Capital Access Gap, a free, publicly accessible curriculum and video series to help small business support organizations navigate the capital landscape with and for their clients.

The five-chapter, 16-part video series delves into the landscape of small business lending, the fundamentals of loan underwriting and credit management, and the most effective strategies for obtaining capital and cultivating long-term relationships with lenders. The video series is intended to increase the capacity of small business support organizations and their teams at all levels of experience, including those who are unfamiliar with or new to the financing landscape as well as those who have worked in traditional lending.

ICIC and LISC conducted extensive research, held local and national focus groups with key stakeholders, and collaborated with capital access specialist Susan Brown to develop the Bridging the Capital Access Gap course. The goal is to promote a more equitable future in which entrepreneurship can be used to create generational wealth in underserved and under-resourced communities.

“Small businesses rely on financing to launch, expand in periods of opportunity, and persevere during moments of difficulty. It’s not surprising that access to capital is one of the most frequent issues raised by entrepreneurs across LISC’s national small business support network and ICIC’s programs to support small businesses in under-resourced communities,” said ICIC CEO Steve Grossman.

“Capital access is especially challenging for business owners of color; in particular, Black entrepreneurs have more difficulty than their white counterparts in raising and accessing capital. ICIC and LISC came together to address the lack of high-quality, accessible training that business support networks can easily use to assist diverse small business owners in navigating the finance landscape.”

“We’re proud to share this vital resource with LISC’s Business Development Organization (BDO) Network  and other technical assistance providers across the nation, connecting historically marginalized business owners to the capital they need to succeed. We encourage any organization connected to small business financing to register to attend our Live Watch Parties  as well as interactive Office Hours with trainer Susan Brown. The curriculum and video series are also available to you to engage with at your own pace,” said LISC Senior Program Officer Armando Moritz-Chapelliquen.

To know more do get in touch with André Ledgister at aledgister@icic.org  or call (617) 238-3012 to speak with a LISC subject matter expert, please contact Thomas Brande at tbrande@lisc.org  or (201) 663-3952.